It’s our anniversary! On November 1, 1945, the very first issue of EBONY Magazine was published. Also on this day in 1951, JET Magazine was born. Founded by John H. Johnson, these two publications pioneered the representation of Black America in the mainstream media, a position that Mr. Johnson had to fight for:
“My problem was advertising or, to come right out with it, the lack of advertising. How did I intend to deal with the problem? By persuading corporations and advertising executives to give Ebony the same consideration they gave Life and Look. To do that I had to convince corporations and advertising executives that there were was an untapped, underdeveloped Black consumer market larger and more affluent than some of the major White foreign markets. This was a a revolutionary approach – revolutionary from a racial, marketing, and advertising standpoint — and I couldn’t sell it to lower-level functionaries. I had to go to the top and sell the Black consumer market the same way you sell a foreign market.” – Succeeding Against The Odds: The Autobiography of a Great American Businessman
As we celebrate 71 years of excellence, take a look at how far we’ve come via the EBONY archives.
EBONY, May 1971 with Tina Turner vs. June 2014, Beyonce – The Diva In our Summer Music Special
EBONY, January 1971 Muhammad Ali and Family vs. August 2016, Our Tribute Issue To The Champ
EBONY, November 1984 with Prince vs. June 2016, Our Tribute Issue To The Purple One
EBONY, June 1994 with Eddie Murphy vs. October/November 2016 Men’s Issue with Kevin Hart
EBONY, August 1970 vs. August 2015 – We’re still dealing with the same issues around the ownership of Black Culture.
EBONY, June 1969 with Betty Shabazz vs. September 2013 with the family of Trayvon Martin
EBONY, April 1966 with Sammy Davis Jr. vs. July 2016 with Common